WASHINGTON — A prominent evangelical leader who attended the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington Thursday believes President Barack Obama's speech championing religious freedom needs to be put into practice by his administration to end religious intolerance in the United States and abroad.
Obama's speech to the crowd of 3,600 that included the Dalai Lama focused on religious freedom and the need to combat evil actions carried out by militants in the name of religion across the world.
Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference who attended the prayer breakfast, told The Christian Post that he respects Obama's spiritual convictions, but nevertheless is a critic of the administration's actions that undermine religious freedom in the U.S. more >>
Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill revealed that over 60 churches were recently damaged by heavy fighting in the Donetsk and Horlivka dioceses in Ukraine. The patriarch called for an end to the bloodshed between Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels, which he said has led to suffering and persecution of Christians.
"The whole civilian population of Donbas is suffering from the humanitarian disaster and armed conflict there together with the devout members of our church, whose parishes and cloisters make up a majority of religious communities in the region," Kirill told senior clergy, as translated by Interfax-Religion.
Western leaders have blamed Russia for directly supporting the rebels who've taken over a number of cities in eastern Ukraine, which has lead to the deaths of over 5,000 people. Russian President Vladimir Putin, however, has denied all accusations of involvement in the conflict. more >>
A Nigerian official is warning that the terrorist group Boko Haram, which aims to establish its Islamic caliphate in Nigeria, plans to conduct a number of large-scale suicide attacks using not only young men, but cattle and other livestock, as well.
Mike Omeri, the coordinator of Nigeria's National Information Centre, announced last week that intelligence reports indicate that Boko Haram, the militant group that killed over 9,000 people and displaced over 1 million in 2014, is planning to carry out suicide attacks on a number of "soft target" public areas like markets, restaurants, and other places where people congregate.
Although most people think of suicide bombers as being extremists who are so devoted to their jihad that they're willing to die for it, Omeri stated that the extremist group is planning on using disguised young men, as well as animals, to carry out their deadly suicide plots. more >>
A popular Nigerian pastor, who is touted as a dedicated servant to the poor, was "butchered" to death last week on his way back from pastoral duties by Muslim Fulani herdsmen, whom some say could be linked to the terrorist group Boko Haram.
As Morning Star News reports, pastor Joshua Adah, who founded and operated a school that provides over 400 kids with free education in the village of Bantaje, fell victim to the wrath of Muslim extremists belonging to the Fulani ethnolinguistic group, the same herdsmen that also reportedly attacked Nigerian Christian communities last week.
According to unnamed supporters of Adah's ministry, Adah was on his way back to his mission station last Friday after attending an "evangelistic outreach" event when his car broke down and he had to pull over on the side of the road. more >>
Close to 300 Muslim students armed with iron bars and sticks attacked a Christian boys' school in northern Pakistan, reportedly in retaliation to French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo's controversial drawings of the Muslim prophet Muhammad. The attack left four Christians injured.
"It is very sad that Islamic radicals attack Pakistani Christians because of Charlie Hebdo. Christians condemn the blasphemous cartoons. It is a shame that even after 67 years since the birth of Pakistan, Christians have not yet been considered Pakistani citizens, but are seen as 'Western allies,'" Nasir Saeed, director of the NGO Center for Legal Aid Assistance & Settlement, told Fides News Agency.
The attack occurred on Panel High School in the city of Bannu, in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Muslim students apparently were able to jump over the outer walls of the school and open the gates before attacking the Christians. more >>
A legal battle is underway in Pakistan for the three young children of Shama and Shahzad Masih, the Christian couple who were burned alive by Muslim radicals in November.
Fides News Agency identified the children as 6–year-old Saman, 4-year-old Sania, and 18-month-old Poonam. While the children are living with their maternal grandfather, there are five different applications that have been lodged at the Court of Lahore demanding custody.
Those applying to take the children are Mukhtar Masih, the grandfather; maternal uncle Yasin Masih; paternal uncle Iqbal Masih; the Legal Evangelical Association Development organization led by Christian lawyer Sardar Mushtaq Gill; as well as the nonprofit Child Protection and Welfare Bureau. more >>